My prayer life changed in the parking lot of the Kwik Trip gas station in Calmar, Iowa. I had pulled into the Kwik Trip to calm my nerves. However, stopping the car did nothing to calm me. My hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t bring myself to drive. Fear had left me completely paralyzed.
It all began when I started thinking about what I would do if some oncoming car crossed the center line. Eventually, I realized there would be little to no reaction time. So when a car would approach, I would slow down and move to the shoulder. With each passing car, my reactions became more dramatic. By the time I neared Calmar, Iowa, I found I was coming to a complete stop every time a car approached. My fear was based in my powerlessness to prevent my children from harm.
Finally, I submitted to prayer. I prayed the Lord’s Prayer over and over, including Martin Luther’s little explanations. “Your kingdom come…I know Lord your good and gracious kingdom will come without my prayer, but I pray it happens in me.” After five minutes of doing this, my nerves started to calm. Peace descended upon me and I was able to drive. Prayer did not change my immediate circumstances, it changed me.
Years later, I invited my congregation to join me in daily prayer. Each day I would text them a prayer and a verse. They were to close their eyes and pray the short prayer five times then read the scripture passage. After this they were to close by praying the same short prayer five times. Each person found these simple moments of prayer transformational.
I invite you today to take a moment and pray. Pray the Lord’s Pray five times, then read Jeremiah 29:11 and close by praying the Lord’s Prayer five more times. It’s an amazing little discipline which changes the soul. (Luke 11: 1-4)